On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”  Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you?  Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!  The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.  Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him.  He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”  From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.  “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.  Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
John 6:60-69 NIV
John 6:66-67 reveals the confidence of Jesus, when in the midst of disciples turning their backs on him, he turns to the twelve and says, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” It is as if he were saying, “tell me your plans so I can find a new set of 12, because this is going to get done with or without you.” Peter appears to respond for the Twelve when he says, “Lord, to whom shall we go?”, and in that moment, the tide turns and our focus moves from those leaving to learn from those choosing to stay.
We spend too little time studying the confidence of Jesus, and as you will see he has a bit of a swagger at times. His confidence was in God, so when people were fickle he remained faithful, which is why I think so many people found him attractive. We must read the scriptures with greater intensity to learn this confidence, so we continue to keep the dream of Jesus alive and build his kingdom, regardless of whether we are many or few, important or irrelevant, succeeding or failing, being criticized or praised.
Read John 6
Read Jeremiah 17:5-8 NLT to understand how Jesus became trusting and confident
Read Luke 18:9-14 NLT and explain the difference between “self” and “God” confidence
Read II Corinthians 1:8-10 NLT and identify what God is doing to make you confident
A significant number of us associate confidence with pride and arrogance. As a result, we spend an enormous amount of time feeling insecure or inadequate, as we focus on our sins and weaknesses, instead of focusing on God.
We must study and learn that when our confidence is in God, our level of performance shouldn’t determine the degree of our security. This concept has a word in scripture, and that word is grace, and you are probably familiar with the constant refrain in James 4:6, which says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” When we are truly humble with God, then we should be confident, because grace is on our side and victory cometh.
*Definitions in “The 12 Days of Jesus” studies are based on the Cambridge Dictionary
- Feature: The 12 Days of Jesus
- Day 1: Conqueror of Darkness
- Day 2: Courage in the Temple
- Day 3: Compassion for the Disabled
- Day 4: Confidence Turns the Tide
- Day 5: Captivating the Crowds
- Day 6: Cagey and Colorful in Conflict
- Day 7: Controversial to the Conventional
- Day 8: Convincing the Confused
- Day 9: Comforting the Cautious
- Day 10: Clarity for the Complicated
- Day 11: Calm for the Chronically Contentious
- Day 12: Concerned about the Cynical
Written by Russ Ewell
who serves as Director of BACC Next,
where he is tasked with thinking about the future.